This week’s alternative fuel fleet success story highlights the Sandy Springs Police Department, just north of Atlanta. Sandy Springs chose propane autogas to power their fleet because, according to Captain Bart Humble, “autogas offers the most viable combination of an American-made clean fuel that also helps reduce our fuel budget.”
The fleet has switched 25 cruisers to clean-burning autogas so far, saving more than $11,000 in fuel costs and displacing almost 10 tons of greenhouse gas emissions within the first quarter of 2012 alone. Alliance AutoGas is converting and providing fueling solutions for a total of 65 clean cruisers, funded through the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program.
Capt. Humble says the key to his autogas program’s success has been support from the top of the City administration down to the police officers on the streets. Feedback from officers driving the alt fuel vehicles has been very positive, and they’re driving the bi-fuel Ford Crown Victorias almost exclusively on autogas. Also, Humble stressed the convenience and practicality of propane autogas versus other alternative fuels, like compressed natural gas.
“There’s no comparison between propane autogas and compressed natural gas,” says Humble. “We tested CNG vehicles when I was in another department, and the performance was not nearly like running on autogas. You had to refill every 100 miles, and the trunk space was nonexistent. With autogas vehicles, you have a very similar experience to driving traditional gasoline vehicles, and my officers can still carry around the equipment they need.”
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